Lakewood�Off the Derech
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- This topic has 69 replies, 33 voices, and was last updated 6 years, 11 months ago by lesschumras.
May 5, 2013 2:20 am at 2:20 am #609216123jewParticipant
I was wondering why so many teenagers in Lakewood are off the derech. Is it because there are just a lot more frum people in Lakewood? or is the percentage of frum teens going of the derech higher than other cities?May 5, 2013 2:39 am at 2:39 am #1156381Shev16Member
There aren’t that many OTD kids in Lakewood.May 5, 2013 2:43 am at 2:43 am #1156382
The yetzer hora has ez-pass.May 5, 2013 2:55 am at 2:55 am #1156383YatzmichMember
Open your eyes & pull your head out of the sand.May 5, 2013 3:24 am at 3:24 am #1156384147Participant
Tow reasons why off the Derech:
1) Because US Route 9 is an old highway, and makes travel to Lakewood time consuming & difficult.
2) Because if anyone there fails to observe Yom Yerusholayim this Wednesday, it is a lack of HaKoras HaTov to the Ribbono Shel Olom for his wonderful Nissim performed 46 years ago.May 5, 2013 5:21 am at 5:21 am #1156385
Did R’ Avigdor Miller Zt”l celebrate Yom Yerushalayim?May 5, 2013 2:46 pm at 2:46 pm #1156386batsevenParticipant
I don’t think there are more OTD kids in Lakewood than anywhere else.
There’s OTD kids everywhere, unfortunately.May 5, 2013 3:09 pm at 3:09 pm #1156387HealthParticipant
123jew -“I was wondering why so many teenagers in Lakewood are off the derech.”
I heard that a lot of them come from elsewhere, but aren’t originally from Lakewood. Why they come here? Beats me.May 5, 2013 9:45 pm at 9:45 pm #1156388WolfmanParticipant
Why are so many OTD?
There is no answer. Each case is different. If it were that simple to answer, the problem would have gone away a long time ago.May 6, 2013 2:22 am at 2:22 am #1156389Josh31Participant
What happens to the boys that do not have it in them to sit and learn all day?May 6, 2013 2:29 am at 2:29 am #1156390Dr Uri BakayMember
Move to Queens We have the lowest percentage of OTD/ Teens at risk per capita of any major Jewish neighborhood. Its because people are nice to each other, like say good morning, good Shabbos etc. there’s no pressure to outfrum anyone.May 6, 2013 2:41 am at 2:41 am #1156391MasmidaMember
Lakewood has a much lower per capita otd rate.May 6, 2013 3:18 am at 3:18 am #1156392Dr Uri BakayMember
Do you know what per capita means?May 6, 2013 3:46 am at 3:46 am #1156393NechomahParticipant
I think the people who have gone OTD are more apparent because of the background of mainly frum people. In places like Brooklyn, there are large numbers of goyim, so someone who is truly OTD blends more into that group; whereas, in Lakewood (like in religious communities in EY) the backdrop is so heavily skewed to the frum end of the spectrum that they can’t help but stick out more, thus it seems like there are more of them.
Hashem should send them and all of us a yeshua and help them do teshuva m’ahava.May 6, 2013 4:00 am at 4:00 am #1156394real-briskerMember
Stats??May 6, 2013 5:12 am at 5:12 am #1156395more_2Member
The more kedusha there is. The yetzer hara becomes stronger. That’s why it’s not good to live in a place where the kedusha is so high if u or your children can’t live up to the kedusha you’ll fall for the tumah right away because it is stronger in a place that’s has high volume in Torah learning.June 16, 2016 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm #1156396bechira2Participant
the way it felt to me in Lakewood when we lived there was that there were two choices for boys: be a talmid Chocham, or, a Bum. No middle ground. We got out before they chose. So glad we did. I have friends who stayed, and their children went OTD. We left, to a more relaxed community (Rhawnhurst) and are having nachas (bli ayin hara). You have to know your family, each child and their potential for making choices (good or bad). We left because of one child’s needs, but it was worth it!June 17, 2016 10:31 am at 10:31 am #1156397MDGParticipant
“the way it felt to me in Lakewood when we lived there was that there were two choices for boys: be a talmid Chocham, or, a Bum. No middle ground. “
I get the impression that there is a similar situation for girls.June 17, 2016 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm #1156398WolfishMusingsParticipant
Just how wide is “the derech” in Lakewood? I wouldn’t be surprised if I would be considered “off the derech” if I lived in Lakewood.
The WolfJune 17, 2016 2:20 pm at 2:20 pm #1156399HealthParticipant
WM -“Just how wide is “the derech” in Lakewood? I wouldn’t be surprised if I would be considered “off the derech” if I lived in Lakewood”
Not true! Maybe at one time. Lakewood has become the cheap place for New Yorkers. It’s similar to Flatbush.June 17, 2016 2:45 pm at 2:45 pm #1156400👑RebYidd23Participant
It’s a growing community, but the schools are not growing with it.June 17, 2016 7:45 pm at 7:45 pm #1156402nanoninoMember
Wherever you will look you will find and there is no one reason so dont even think about it and going to college or a working at 21 isnt off the derechJune 19, 2016 2:58 am at 2:58 am #1156403charliehallParticipant
“I wouldn’t be surprised if I would be considered “off the derech” if I lived in Lakewood.”
I have actually never been to Lakewood. Can someone who is familiar with it comment on whether I would be accepted there or considered “off the derech”?June 19, 2016 4:18 am at 4:18 am #1156404nishtdayngesheftParticipant
You would not be considered any different in Lakewood than in any other frum community.June 19, 2016 1:44 pm at 1:44 pm #1156405LovelymeMember
Lakewood is a great place with every type of Jew from yeshivish to reform it is a very large community and therefore there is a bigger percentage of children OTD and usually those children are the ones that come from a difficult home or went through something difficult and never got help. I do agree that Lakewood does need more schools- boys elementary/mesivta girls-elementary/high schoolJune 19, 2016 2:17 pm at 2:17 pm #1156406
They cannot build the schools fast enough in lakewood to accomodate the exploding populationJune 19, 2016 2:46 pm at 2:46 pm #1156407
Charlie: if it’s any consolation, OTD is usually reserved for children or more accurately teens (sometimes young adults) that digress from their parents’ religious path. So you’d probably be labeled as simply “modern”, which I assume wouldn’t bother you as much.
Lovelyme: why would a huge community have a larger percentage of OTD children? Did you actually mean numbers-wise instead?June 19, 2016 9:34 pm at 9:34 pm #1156408smerelParticipant
I question the whole premise that Lakewood has a higher OTD rate then elsewhere.What unbiased source can I get confirmation from?June 20, 2016 8:23 pm at 8:23 pm #1156409hershel2626Participant
Charlie – anyone with a goyish name like Charlie is obviously OTD. Signed Usher Anshel of LakewoodJune 20, 2016 8:52 pm at 8:52 pm #1156410arcParticipant
“Lakewood ….. is a very large community and therefore there is a bigger percentage of children OTD”
The size of Lakewood should have nothing to do with the percentage only the total number
“usually those children are the ones that come from a difficult home or went through something difficult and never got help”
That’s a general assumption about OTD but I don’t think it’s fact, it may be true that those kids are more likely to be at risk but don’t assume they are the only onesor the cause of those at risk. In my opinion that is a dangerous assumption, that ignores the larger issue.
I will repeat what several others have said are there any stats to back up the numbers? are there even numbers?June 20, 2016 9:25 pm at 9:25 pm #1156411
As fas as I know there really arent any hardcore studies on OTD, I think people are afraid of the answersJune 20, 2016 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm #1156412UncleMoParticipant
I think you said very well. Living in Lakewood for over 15 years I can say two things A. this place has changed drastically- for the worse, in my opinion. B. There are tremendous pressures of “society” in Lakewood, likely worse than in NY, where I grew up like most of today’s Lakewood residents. There is absolutely no middle ground, some commenters have written that it has changed. Yes, it changed that there are all types of people. However, if someone so much as puts on a colored shirt, it’s practically worse than the gimmel aveiros! The narrow-mindedness is insane. Many kids can’t handle the pressures and buckle. Although I personally feel there is a higher rate of OTD teens here I don’t know that I’m necessarily right. As others have said, no one has posted real figures. I do think that teens “go off” worse here though and quicker. A boy in BP may retain some sort of chassidishe dress and still go to the worst places whereas in Lakewood, from what I’ve seen, they drop the frum look almost immediately- in 8th-9th grade and it is truly hard to tell them apart from a Goy unfortunately. One thing is almost universally accepted- out of town communities raise children who are PROUD to be frum- even if they may not learn for 20 years after their chasuna. When living OOT, kids learn that frumkeit is not a “given”, that there are others who do not keep the Torah, as a result, they don’t just daven 3 times a day because that’s what I was “taught to do” but because they WANT to daven! Same goes for everything else in yiddishkeit. Some NY’ers etc may not like what I’m writing but go look in any MAINSTREAM (I don’t mean the little hick town somewhere out in Montana….) OOT community, kids come out stronger because of exposure to diversity, instead of weaker. That is one reason I am getting out of Lakewood and moving to one of those “crazy” oot places.June 20, 2016 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm #1156413UncleMoParticipant
So yes, while it is true that there are many types in Lakewood today, one that does things even a bit different is still shunned and looked down upon and this affects both children and adults.June 21, 2016 12:35 am at 12:35 am #1156414
Has anyone here ever gone up to an otd person and asked why?June 21, 2016 12:47 am at 12:47 am #1156415
Has anyone here ever gone up to an otd person and asked why?
Sure, but do they really know? There’s lots of bias from all involved.June 21, 2016 2:01 am at 2:01 am #1156416
This is part of the problem no one cares about what they have to say, they know better than anyone why they left we should listen.June 21, 2016 2:33 am at 2:33 am #1156417
Who says no one cares what they have to say? Who says no one listens?
It’s important that they be listened to, and there are people who do listen (although certainly not everyone shares), but what someone says is what caused them to leave isn’t necessarily the reason they left.June 21, 2016 2:53 am at 2:53 am #1156418
People do not listen, they HEAR what the person said, but dont listen.June 21, 2016 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm #1156419
So DY you think otd’ers are not honest with themselves for the reasons they left? that sounds to me like you are willing to take parents/teachers/society’s side without question am i wrong?June 21, 2016 1:07 pm at 1:07 pm #1156420
There’s lots of bias from all involved.June 21, 2016 2:17 pm at 2:17 pm #1156421Veltz MeshugenerMember
I completely agree with DaasYochid. It is useful to ask people who are off the derech what led them to go off the derech. It is also useful to ask people who observed them, their rebbeim, their families, etc. Every answer you get will be a useful data point but every answer will also be based in large part on the biases of the person giving the answer. Additionally, there are probably almost as many reason for going off the derech as there are people who went off the derech.
My highly biased answer, which applies to everyone who went off the derech: Because they were not getting enough out of frumkeit, at least in the short term, to keep them on the derech.June 21, 2016 3:12 pm at 3:12 pm #1156422
My highly biased answer, which applies to everyone who went off the derech: Because they were not getting enough out of frumkeit,
Why is that biased?
People who are happy and content usually stay where they are, its people who are not happy and content that will seek other pathsJune 21, 2016 3:23 pm at 3:23 pm #1156423
Very often it has nothing to do with Yiddishkeit but they are not getting enough love and care from family and other authority figures. Or they simply don’t have any friends. People that are unhappy may blame it on the wrong things or simply turn to diversions. Because if one lacks in one area he may try to compensate in other areas.June 21, 2016 3:58 pm at 3:58 pm #1156424smerelParticipant
Ten years ago I used to listen to and really take seriously what the OTD crowd and their sympathizers had to say. But after seeing and hearing from the OTD crowd ad nausuem I became disillusioned.
Some may have legitimate complaints and if an OTD person wanted to talk to me now I still would listen to them and take them seriously.Not only that some of their complaints are legitimate even in the absence of an OTD movement.But despite the intrinsic legitimacy of those complaints and criticisms they aren’t reasons to go OTD
I think the majority of the OTD will just take whatever excuse will get the most acceptance and clearance for their conscience. No matter frum society will do the Yetzer Hora will be smart enough to find other excuses.June 21, 2016 5:17 pm at 5:17 pm #1156425lesschumrasParticipant
Mammele, how many interview/studies have you conducted that led you to your conclusions?June 21, 2016 5:23 pm at 5:23 pm #1156426
I conducted one interview and can basically confirm what Mammele said. I would say it a bit differently, though, that these people have encountered severe emotional trauma in one form or another, mostly some form of abuse.
The interview I conducted was with a professional who has conducted many.June 21, 2016 5:24 pm at 5:24 pm #1156427JosephParticipant
LC: How come you didn’t ask that question to everyone else who posted here?June 21, 2016 5:52 pm at 5:52 pm #1156428nishtdayngesheftParticipant
A significant number also suffer from mental illness.June 21, 2016 5:56 pm at 5:56 pm #1156429
Thanks DY and Joseph.
LC: I was basing it on anecdotal “evidence” as an additional and counter point to what VM said. There are still those not happy with their Yiddishkeit, but usually with strings attached, such as learning difficulties that have soured Yiddishkeit for them. And most likely their learning troubles weren’t handled in the best manner. So we come full circle as many aspects can be intertwined.
I was really loathe to mention the word abuse as it has different connotations for different folks — but obviously those on the receiving end of the opposite of positive attention and caring will turn away in greater numbers.
So when it comes to basic parenting one may be too strict with a specific child that can effect her adversely, and even though it’s not considered abusive she may consider it as such if she’s overly sensitive and it’s not balanced by love.June 21, 2016 5:59 pm at 5:59 pm #1156430
Would you consider the following abuse?
Someone being forced to learn Gemorah against their will? Meaning that they dislike learning and are forced to learn anyway
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